workshops

Classroom as Community: Creating Safe Spaces in Creative Nonfiction Workshops

by
Erika Anderson and Brian Gresko
8.17.16

The writing workshop model presents a certain degree of risk—sharing artistic work inherently involves becoming vulnerable to critique and potential emotional fallout. Perhaps none experience this risk more than creative nonfiction writers, whose memoirs and essays are often deeply personal. Here, two writing workshop facilitators offer a set of guidelines for developing a safe, respectful workshop environment.

Page One Literary Center

Founded in 2012, Page One Literary Center is a community-based nonprofit offering both one-day and multi-week creative writing workshops as well as several literary events. These events include an open mic night for adults and the Collaborative LiterARTi Series, which combines music, writing, and visual art. In the fall of 2013, Page One plans to offer affordable, quiet workspaces for writers.

The Loft Literary Center

Incorporated in 1975, the Loft Literary Center offers creative writing courses and hosts readings and other literary events, as well as sponsoring a series of awards for writers and publishing A View From the Loft, an online magazine featuring articles about the craft of writing. Writers may also rent studios at Open Book, where the Loft is housed along with Milkweed Editions and Minnesota Center for Book Arts, where the Loft is housed. 

The Writers' Workshoppe

The Writers' Workshoppe and Imprint Bookstore carries over 5000 books as well as gifts and the famous Writers' Block Chocolate and Coffee, made locally in Port Townsend. Open daily, over twelve writing workshops are offered on a weekly basis.

Bent River Books & Music

Founded in 2010, Bent River Books & Music is an independent bookstore located in the historic Verde Valley of Arizona between Sedona and Jerome. While it offers a variety of both fiction and nonfiction, it also offers books on Arizona history, Southwestern Native American culture, anthropology, and earth-friendly living. Bent River hosts its own book club and also features creative writing workshops and readings by local authors. Hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 10 AM to 6 PM and Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM.

Attic Institute

Established in 1999, the Attic Institute offers writing workshops; five-month fellowships that provide guidance in both craft and publishing; and the Attic Atheneum, an annual certificate program that is an alternative to the MFA program. The Attic also rents out writers studios.

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